|Years:||I'm 21 years old|
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More.
1. becoming more sexually adventurous – your attitude
First sexual intercourse is an important experience in the young adult life course. While research has examined racial, gender, and socioeconomic differences in the characteristics of first sexual intercourse, less is known about differences by disability status. Regression analyses indicate that girls with mild or learning or emotional disabilities experience first sexual intercourse in different types of relationships than girls without disabilities. Adolescents with learning or emotional conditions have greater levels of discussion about birth control with their first sexual partners than those without disabilities.
In addition, among those who do not use birth control at first sexual intercourse, girls with multiple or seriously limiting conditions are more likely to want a pregnancy—versus not want a pregnancy—at first sexual intercourse. Findings indicate that disability status is important to consider when examining adolescent sexuality; however, not all youth with disabilities have equal experiences.
First sexual intercourse is an important life event that many adolescents consider a turning point in their personal development Beausang Engaging in consensual sexual activity enables young Ladies this is a sexual adventure to negotiate physical partnerships and explore their sexual identity.
For heterosexual youth, initiation of first sexual intercourse is associated with other life course transitions such as marriage and childbirth Miller and Heaton The initiation of sexual activity, however, is not the only salient factor in a young person's life. The context in which first sexual activity takes place—such as the committedness of a young person's relationship with Ladies this is a sexual adventure partner and their contraceptive behavior—is crucial for determining how young people are ultimately affected by their experience Faulkner and Lannutti ; Grello et al.
The characteristics of first sexual intercourse are also important to consider in the examination of adolescent sexual behavior. However, adolescents with disabilities are often neglected from research on sexual behavior, despite evidence that they may experience first sexual intercourse differently than adolescents without disabilities. First, adolescents with disabilities participate in fewer social activities and are less likely to date than adolescents without disabilities Anderson et al.
This social isolation may result in fewer opportunities to learn about sex from Ladies this is a sexual adventure, to engage in sexual experimentation, and to develop the social skills necessary to build sexual relationships. Blum argues that social isolation— and not an adolescent's impairment—is the primary contributor to sexual issues among young people with chronic conditions. Next, parents of adolescents with disabilities may be more reluctant to discuss sexuality with their children than parents of adolescents without disabilities because of an adolescent's impairment.
For example, parents of adolescents with developmental or emotional conditions may anticipate—or observe—inappropriate sexual behavior Tissot and wish to avoid discussion of sexuality for fear they may spark additional interest in sexual expression Nelson Alternatively, a lack of condition-specific knowledge about sexual functioning may also deter parents from speaking to their children.
For example, Blum et al. Parental attempts to shield adolescents from sexual knowledge may not only decrease a young person's understanding of sexual activity but also leave them less prepared to reflect upon and take responsibility for their behaviors. Finally, social stereotypes about individuals with disabilities may lead others to believe that they are asexual—or that they have different sexual aspirations than their peers Blum ; Nosek et al.
An adolescent with a disability or their partner may internalize these stereotypes and feel less comfortable exploring their sexuality—or engage in less positive sexual interactions. Thus, existing research suggests that peers, parents, and a lack of social acceptance may all negatively affect the context in which an adolescent with a disability experiences first sexual intercourse.
quantitative research has explored differences in age at first sexual intercourse Alderman et al. In-depth interviews have provided rich descriptions of the challenges to dating Howland and Rintala and developing romantic relationships Lesseliers and Van Hove ; Skar for persons with physical and developmental disabilities. However, less is known about the association between a young person's disability status and the context in which first sexual intercourse occurs—especially net of other potentially confounding youth and family characteristics.
Are they less likely to discuss birth control with their first sexual partners? And—among those who do not use birth control—are they more likely to want a pregnancy at first sexual intercourse?
The 5 keys to the magic of sexual desire for women
In doing so, we examine disability both as a function of specific limiting conditions including chronic health conditions, sensory conditions, learning or emotional conditions or multiple conditions as well as the severity in which the condition limits the youth mild disability or serious disability. We focus specifically on adolescent girls, as existing literature suggests ifi-cant gender differences in first sexual intercourse regarding age Mott et al. from this analysis of several facets of first sexual intercourse using multiple indicators of disability provide a better understanding of how girls with disabilities differ from their peers without disabilities.
research Elo et al. While the majority of adolescent girls report first sexual intercourse in a steady dating relationship, a sizeable proportion are friends or more occasional dating partners. This variation in relationship type is important for several reasons.
Quick quiz: do you give good blow jobs?
First, those who are strangers or just friends at first sexual intercourse are less likely to practice contraception than those who are going steady—a discrepancy that exists regardless of whether or not a young person received birth control education before first sexual intercourse Manning et al. Next, a girl's evaluation of sex also differs by relationship type. Those who experience first sexual intercourse in a serious relationship—rather than a casual one—report more pleasure and less guilt Sprecher et al.
Grello et al. Finally, the type of relationship a young woman is in at first sexual intercourse is associated with subsequent sexual behaviors. A study of college students Grello et al. Thus, type of relationship at first sexual intercourse has broader implications for other sexual and emotional outcomes. Despite the implications of the type of relationship at first sexual intercourse, establishing and maintaining more committed types of romantic relationships may be more difficult for adolescent girls with disabilities.
For example, social stereotypes may make girls more hesitant to pursue a romantic relationship.
Many scholars e. Anderson et al. Empirical studies similarly reveal that people without disabilities consider many sexual behaviors less acceptable or inappropriate when performed by a person with a disability Oliver et al.
Furthermore, Deloach and Phillips suggest that women with disabilities may internalize these stereotypes. Individuals with physical disabilities have been found to have lower levels of sexual esteem than individuals without disabilities McCabe and Taleporos — and many consider their disability an obstacle to sexual expression Taleporos and McCabe and romantic relationships Skar —which may leave them less confident to pursue a more committed partnership than people without disabilities.
Thus, emotional and attitudinal barriers may complicate the development of romantic types of relationships for girls with disabilities. Romantic relationships also may be more difficult for girls with disabilities due to logistical reasons.
A lack of specialized sexual education may leave girls with disabilities uninformed about the implications of their disability on sexual functioning, as suggested by studies of youth with spina bifida and cerebral palsy Blum et al. Parents of children with disabilities may be apprehensive about their child's sexuality Guest ; Pendler and Hingsburger ; Thorin and Irvin and place limits on sexual behavior Lesseliers and Van Hovewhich decrease a young person's opportunity to develop sexual relationships.
Although Lesseliers and Van Hove's research studied adults labeled with mental retardation, their indicate the tremendous effect parents can have on their child's sexual boundaries:. Finally, individuals with physical disabilities may require accommodations that increase their dependence on others and lead to a lack of privacy Foley ; Taleporos and Mccabe Taleporos and Mccabe's Ladies this is a sexual adventure, p.
While knowledge deficits, parental boundaries, and lack of physical accessibility would complicate the ability of any adolescent to establish a romantic relationship, these constraints may be more prevalent for girls with disabilities.
The use of birth control inherently involves both partners in a sexual relationship Manning et al. Analyses Manlove et al.
The level of communication is also important. One qualitative analysis Faulkner and Lannuttip. Furthermore, these conversations seem to have ongoing effects. from Noar et al. In sum, both the occurrence and level of discussion about birth control is related to other positive contraceptive and emotional outcomes.
research suggests that greater levels of communication about birth control could be more complicated for adolescent girls with disabilities. One challenge may be lack of knowledge. Cheng and Udry's analysis of AddHealth data finds no difference in sexual knowledge between girls with and without physical disabilities. However, other research suggests that these adolescents are uninformed Berman et al.
Another more general challenge can arise from greater communication needs. Howland and Rintala's interviews with women with physical disabilities suggest that poor communication can be a stronger source of dissatisfaction with relationships for women with disabilities because they may also have to discuss disability-related needs in addition to sexual needs. Finally, an adolescent may need to coordinate alternate contraceptive plans if their disability necessitates an additional or substitute method of birth control.
For example, the use of certain medications may decrease the effectiveness of oral and implanted contraceptives Owens and Honebrink Latex sensitivities may preclude the use of certain barrier devices in lieu of less reliable polyurethane products Murphy and Young Thus, the combination of less access to sexual knowledge, more complex communications needs, and greater restrictions to contraceptive use Ladies this is a sexual adventure complicate a girl's ability to discuss birth control with her first sexual partner if she has a disability.
research suggests that contraceptive behavior is one marker of pregnancy intentions. Bartz et al. Rosengard et al. These studies suggest that those who do not use contraception at first sexual intercourse may be more likely than those who do use contraception to want a pregnancy.
However, they also indicate that many adolescent girls are ambivalent about becoming pregnant—or even if they plan against it, engage in contraceptive behavior inconsistent with these plans.
Less than 6 percent of the girls in Bartz et al. Thus, the relationship between contraceptive behavior and pregnancy wantedness is not consistent, as girls who do not contracept do not necessarily want a pregnancy. Stevens-Simon et al. This research suggests that wantedness should be situated among broader life course objectives.
For example, educational expectations earlier in adolescence are associated with pregnancy outcomes later in adolescence, with girls with higher goals less likely to become pregnant Hockaday et al. Additionally, Vernon et al. Thus, pregnancy wantedness is not only reflective of fertility intentions—but is a broader indicator of a girl's anticipated life course trajectory.
There may be several reasons why adolescent girls with disabilities may be more likely than those without disabilities to want a pregnancy at first sexual intercourse.
research suggests that a substantial of teenagers with disabilities leave high school and neither work nor continue their education Blackorby and Wagner ; Wells et al. Furthermore, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that adult women with disabilities have a lower employment-to-population ratio than both women without disabilities and men with disabilities.
Second, and relatedly, girls with disabilities may evaluate pregnancy differently than girls without disabilities. Cheng and Udry's analyses of the AddHealth indicates that girls with a severe physical disability hold more positive attitudes toward pregnancy than girls without physical disabilities.